Each patent record in the database can have up to 10 images associated with it. These images may be excerpts from the patent specification, photos of the actual tool, or any other small image that helps identify the tool.
In order to keep the data storage requirements low and the retrieval speed high, we have placed the following restrictions on the images uploaded:
In addition to the hard-and-fast restrictions placed by the image upload process, we also have some guidelines to help keep our load times fast and our look clean:
All stewards can upload images for their patents using the standard patent detail page. If you are logged in as a steward, you will see "[add]" and "" buttons in the title bar of the picture table for any patents you added.
Clicking on the "[add]" button will take you to a form that allows you to upload a file from your hard disk. The server will make sure that your file adheres to our restrictions (JPG or PNG smaller than 400x400), and if it does it will automatically move it to the images directory and add the proper links in the database.
Clicking on the "" button will take you to a form that allows you to change the caption for the image, make the current image the primary image, or delete the current image. Note that if you delete the image it is permanently deleted from the server, so use this option with caution!
Good image software makes all the difference in the world. If you already have PhotoShop or some other professional image editing program that's great (I used to use Photoshop on Windows and liked it a lot), but if you don't there is a good free alternative-- GIMP.
GIMP stands for "GNU Image Manipulation Program" and is an open-source image editor that is just as powerful as something like PhotoShop, and absolutely free. It runs like a top on Linux, but is a bit slow on Windows (no slower than PhotoShop, though). Unfortunately it is also just as difficult to learn as PhotoShop, but it provides a wealth of powerful features and makes a nice free alternative to the expensive commercial software.